Thistle: a friendly display face with an edge

This is a concept I've had for a while, that I've only recently began to digitize. It started from the idea of an i, in which the principal stroke and the tittle form a diagonal slice. Here's my original freehand sketch:

I wanted to perhaps turn this idea into a legible gothic typeface with a high x-height, round, open letterforms, and ascenders/descenders/tittles with slanted, angular ends. Here it is digitized in Fontographer:

The lowercase letterforms:

At the moment, Thistle seems better suited for a display font (it could make an excellent logotype). It's surprisingly legible at smaller sizes (although much of the distinguishing slanted strokes and tittles become lost).

Here's an example at a smaller size in a sentence:

It's still very much an inchoate idea (and I'm still a complete novice!), but I wanted to share with you what I've created so far.

Let me know your thoughts, and any ideas for the capitals, numbers, and symbols!

Cheers,
Trevor

riccard0's picture

It’s nice. As you say, it’s more logo than text, but maybe it still has too much of an Arial vibe. However, why the different angle on s, c, and e?

Trevor Baum's picture

Thanks Riccard. I agree with you - I'd like to distinguish it a bit from the ubiquitous Arial's and Franklin Gothic's of the world, but I wanted to be wary of overdoing the slanted strokes and thorned ear of the g. The balance between convention and personality is pretty difficult to find, but I'm going to keep working at it!

As for the different angles, I believe that's just a mistake - thanks for pointing it out.

breakandassemble's picture

Have you seen the large hotel chain thistle's identity?

http://www.thistle.com/en/group/find_a_hotel_map.html

http://images.channels.nl/images/hotel/org/126/1262708.jpg

Might want to check and read up on them before going ahead. I could see some lawsuits down the line ;)

Tristan Bowersox's picture

Thanks Riccard. I agree with you - I'd like to distinguish it a bit from the ubiquitous Arial's and Franklin Gothic's of the world, but I wanted to be wary of overdoing the slanted strokes and thorned ear of the g. The balance between convention and personality is pretty difficult to find, but I'm going to keep working at it! | There are other ways to differentiate your font than playing up its gimmick (not too seem cynical; it's just the right word here). I think what the font needs is to be taken back to the drawing board and reimagined holistically. Rather than "a sans-serif with slanted terminals," something like "an edgy sans-serif." Make the slants a symptom of the font's core attributes, not the reason for the font.

That hotel is really close (and that the name is the same is unnerving, I'm sure) but that doesn't mean you should abandon this idea.

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